Going north on Hwy 34 you will see the new Terrell Police Departments Headquarter taking shape more and more. It is hard to believe that it is supposed to be ready in just 4 months! A project that started almost 4 years ago is now about to be finalized. InTerrell.Net got the opportunity to talk to Chief of Police Jody Lay about the new building and the future of the Police Department.
We will follow the last couple of months with pictures of the progress until the opening day that is not exactly scheduled but said sometimes in December 2016.
The 36,000 sq ft. building will have everything a police department possibly can imagine needing in the upcoming 30 years. Every single corner of the building is thoroughly thought through to utilize the facility to its most. There is no doubt that this is a project Chief is very proud of, and so will Terrell be. And if you have visited the old facility, you probably already know, there is a need for a new building for the department.
Looking at the floor plans, you will see that this building is made to last for a long time and it will make the workflow easier for the entire staff at the PD. A lot of energy and thoughts has been put into workflow, sustainability and security. In many of the areas you will need both a card and thumb print to access the room.
The public will be able to come to a welcoming environment where they can get the best service and help possible. Instead of sitting in a front lobby with no privacy like now, an interview will be held in a room with comfortable chairs and good audio and video recording.
The forensic department will have a big evidence and property room, including a biological evidence room with a walk in refrigerator that is able to store material for 50 (!) years. It will have a secured area for seized vehicles and also a building where the forensics can do all the necessary investigation on vehicles in a safe location with top of the line equipment. Today the forensic department is located at several different locations in town which makes the workflow very complicated.
An armory will be in a support building where all necessary equipment will be available to clean and maintain all rifles and weapons that a police department will use. Did you know that TPD has one of the best SWAT teams in Texas? Just saying…
Chief Lay said that a Criminal Investigations Officers has been sent off to a special school to be certified in forensic on cellphones and computers and that will also have a special area in the new building. Previously that had to be sent off to a third-party lab to be processed and it will now be done in-house instead.
The jail in the old building holds up to 8 inmates, even though in the weekends it is not rare to have between 16-20 people booked in the holding cells. The new facility will hold 30 adults. Special areas are designated for juveniles, interviews and investigations. A secure sally port at the back side of the building and a separate office will be at the front of the building.
On the bottom floor a multi purpose room will be easy accessible for the public and TPD staff and can be used for both meetings and training but it can also be turned into an Emergency Operations Center in just matters of minutes.
The dispatchers are today housed in a small room with two workstations, no windows and will now move to a large room with big windows and special light and it will also be extended with two more stations and an office for the supervisor.
Offices, briefing rooms, gym, locker rooms, you name it, will be available at the new facility. New furniture and technology. It will absolutely be great for Terrell PD as well as the city, something that we as a town will be very proud of.
What is going to happen with the old PD then? Well, that is yet to be determined, but even City Hall needs more room so they will be able to utilize it to something good!